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December 6, 2016

How AI Will Create the Perfect Ad for Every Individual


The advertising industry has made huge strides in targeting, but there's one more big step to take to make ads truly relevant: We need to adapt each creative message so it is interactive and personalized to every single individual. The key to achieving what may be the holy grail of advertising is a thriving branch of artificial intelligence known as deep learning. It uses algorithms to mimic neural networks' capabilities to recognize and act on abstract patterns.

Closer than you may think.

December 5, 2016

Amazon Unveils Futuristic Checkout-Free Grocery Store

dfbc264c7fe676df3d71b56cc305c426.jpgAmazon announced today through a video posted online that it’s testing a grocery store in hometown Seattle that has no checkout process, much less checkout lines. The store, dubbed Amazon Go, requires customers to launch a QR-code based app, which they scan upon walking into the site. The retailer’s “Just Walk Out” technology detects when products are removed from or returned to shelves, keeps track of them in a virtual cart, and totals the cost when customers depart the store.

Grab and go.

October 20, 2016

The Power of Cohesive Branding: Why Apple Wins


The days of just selling stuff are long gone. Today, in the race for consumers, marketers need to create entire, cohesive ecosystems in order to provide the most value. In Interbrand’s 2016 Best Global Brands report, Apple snagged one of the top spots, the brand value rising 5% to $178.1 million this year. A big part of what makes brands like Apple valuable is their cohesiveness as a connected business system. Apple communicates with its customers through its hardware, software, and retail stores to deliver one of the best consistent narratives.

Apple stays on top.

September 22, 2016

Walmart, Lowe's, and Whole Foods are Banking on This to Compete With Amazon


The rise of automation in the fast-food industry has made headlines in recent months, as chains such as Panera and McDonald's have heavily invested in tech that threatens to eventually replace human workers. Now the grocery and retail industry is looking to get in on automation as well. Walmart recently patented a system of self-driving shopping carts with mini robots that can complete a long list of duties once reserved for human employees.

Shopping without the work.

August 18, 2016

The CEO Guide to Customer Experience


What do my customers want? The savviest executives are asking this question more frequently than ever, and rightly so – they understand they are in the customer experience business, and that how an organization delivers for customers is as important as what it delivers. In this guide, experts explore the fundamentals of customer interaction and the steps necessary to redesign the business in a more customer-centric fashion.

Putting customers first.

August 17, 2016

Retailers Like J. Crew Are Obsessed With Data. (And It’s Killing Your Shopping Experience.)


As shoppers ourselves, it’s a routine we already know extremely well by now. It goes like this: You walk into your favorite fashion retail store. You’re welcomed by a retail floor assistant. They repeatedly greet you with a scripted engagement every three minutes until you checkout or leave. You may think it is over at this point, but really it’s just the beginning. 

Double down on digital instead.

July 25, 2016

How Mobile Has Redefined the Consumer Decision Journey for Shoppers


When people shop, their smartphone is now their go-to advisor and assistant. For retailers, this means big opportunities to be there and be useful in shoppers' micro-moments. In this introduction to a five-part series, Google reveals the mobile retail trends shaping the industry and why they matter.

Be there and be useful.

July 22, 2016

Bigger Budgets for Back-To-School This Year, According to National Retail Federation


Retailers might just get their wish this back-to-school season. Yesterday, The National Retail Federation released a report that predicts consumers will spend more, shop earlier and be more receptive to specific promotions. The survey found that total spending for kindergarten through 12th grade and college should reach $75.8 billion, up 11% from last year. The expectations are in stark contrast to 2015, when shoppers waited till the last minute to spend and cut back on purchases.

Retailers, start your engines.

July 19, 2016

The Evolution of Marketing Platforms: From Automation to Journeys


In the beginning, marketing automation platforms basically involved if/then rules: if a customer takes this action, show this response. But overlapping e-mail campaigns with if/then rules become very complicated very quickly, especially when you’re talking about millions of customers, each one in a different frame of mind, and each expecting his/her own personalized experience. As a result, marketing platforms are evolving to the newer approach of customer journeys that are often guided by machine learning.

It's all about the customer journey.

July 13, 2016

Whole Foods Just Launched a Messenger Chatbot for Finding Recipes with Emojis


A new chatbot will let customers browsing through the store find products, and then, with a few taps in a Facebook Messenger chatbot, find recipes for an upcoming meal. Customers can also select an emoji, like a jalapeno or a banana, and then see recipes that involve those products. The chatbot lets customers mix and match words and emojis.

Peach emoji. Martini emoji. Done.